Category Archives: Eclectic Observations

Land of the Free (Wi-fi)

There are probably hotels in Australia that offer free wireless broadband to their customers. If so, I’ve never stayed in one. By contrast, I haven’t been able to find a hotel in the US that doesn’t offer wi-fi. Even the … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations, Travel | 16 Comments

Beijing Byline

Well, it seems my blog hasn’t yet been banned by the Chinese authorities. Highlights of Beijing so far: funky modern art in the backblocks, Beijing duck (42% fat), CCTV propaganda, skyscrapers going up everywhere, silk markets (their starting price=15*purchase price). … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 2 Comments

Billy the Kidder

From the BBC. A British army regiment’s ceremonial pet goat was demoted in disgrace after it marched out of line before a host of international dignitaries during a parade to mark Queen’s Elizabeth II’s birthday, a military spokesman said Saturday. … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 1 Comment

Newborn research

Some commentary in the papers on our Baby Bonus study, including the SMH, Australian (who managed to find a 1/7/04 baby), the Courier Mail and AFP (who creatively linked it to our deaths research). Joshua has a roundup of the blogs. Gweneth … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 11 Comments

The Efficient Supermarkets Hypothesis

It’s always tempting to switch lines in the supermarket. After waiting for 5 minutes in one checkout line yesterday, Gweneth and I jumped to the next queue. Turned out we’d jumped in behind someone who was complaining about a price being … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations, Economics Generally | 33 Comments

The Millennium Bub

Joshua Gans and I have recently been having far too much fun looking at daily Australian data on births and deaths. So far, we’ve written five papers on various topics, which I’ll be talking about over the next few months. … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations, Economics Generally | 1 Comment

What I'm watching (when I really should be working)

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live. Jon Stewart and John Hodgman on Bush’s Tax Cuts.

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 2 Comments

Orchestral manoeuvres

An evening at the symphony left me wondering. Do we have all those violins because no-one has so far invented a violin that plays at several times the volume of the current instrument? Or is there something inherent in having … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations | 5 Comments

Miner thoughts

Listening to the early-morning radio reports of Brant Webb and Todd Russell being released from their two-star hotel this morning made me unexpectedly proud to be an Australian. I’m still struggling to work out precisely why.

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Flighty thoughts

I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling recently, which has prompted a few thoughts. In no particular order. 1. In Melbourne airport, one of the things you notice when moving from the Qantas terminal to the Virgin Blue terminal … Continue reading

Posted in Eclectic Observations, What I'm Reading | 8 Comments